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Archive for the ‘Abstinence’ Category

Is It the Economy Again?

In Abstinence, Birth Rate, Cohabitation, Divorce, Families, father, Marriage, The Family, Values on March 20, 2015 at 7:16 am

empty ring boxGary Boyd

Seth Freed Wessler, writing for nbcnews.com, charges the economy with the low percentages of married young people and the rapidly diminishing institution of the American middle-class family. As industrial and professional jobs for men that paid a living wage 50 years ago have dried up, Wessler asserts that those of traditionally marriageable age no longer give marriage a high priority, since marriage no longer secures financial stability.

In his article, Mr. Wessler uses the real-life and current example of a young couple with a child who have not married, in order to show that the economic pressures brought to bear on them have caused them to make other choices than marriage and the traditional family.   He quotes the couple and recounts their experience.

Michael Bridges and Laura McCann had a longstanding relationship. McCann came up pregnant, and delivered their baby a few months after McCann finished college. Today, they are still not married. In fact, they separated two years after the baby was born.

Statistics cited by Mr. Wessler are undoubtedly true. Marriage rates are down, when compared to 1960. Births of children to unwed parents are up. Most young couples are choosing to bypass marriage and jump directly into having kids, or avoiding both marriage and procreation. The question, however, is whether the economy can be blamed, or must we look to the erosion of morals and values.

While couples having babies today are often not staying together, would it still not behoove them to do so economically? The Earned Income Credit is not enough on which to live for a year, and even though the mother may no longer stay home full-time, are two incomes still not more than one? Does it not cost less to house two adults in one apartment than in two apartments?

The answer, regrettably, is an erosion of our values. After the baby was born, and the responsibility to its care established, McCann was quoted as saying: “We weren’t going to stay together just because we were together, if it wasn’t the right thing”.

Again, the article does not give the causes of the couple’s choice to separate. The undertones suggest possible disenchantment with each other or a desire to move in different directions. However, in the absence of abuse or infidelity, how could staying together not be the right thing? The question is one of perspective and priority.

Until the real issues are addressed, society will continue its march towards the increased barbarism and unravelling of civilization that loom inevitably before us, and away from chewed-up-and-spit-out traditional family in the trail behind us.

Freedom and Moral Discipline

In Abortion, Abstinence, Bioethics, Cohabitation, Courts, Democracy, Families, Government, Human Rights, Religion, Sexual Freedom, Values on March 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

moral compassErika Walker

A person’s conscience is often referred to as their moral compass. In a song from the animated Disney classic Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket instructs Pinocchio to “always let [his] conscience be [his] guide”. Initially this seems like a safe way to keep ourselves from straying from the “straight and narrow”, but if everyone’s moral compass has a different “true North”, what are we as a society to base moral decisions on?

Once upon a time, people used religious teachings such as the Ten Commandments as a moral standard for behavior, but as less and less people now subscribe to a specific religion or set of beliefs, or even maintain a belief in God, we, as a society, are left with what is referred to as moral relativism. “Moral relativism is the view that ethical standards, morality, and position of right or wrong are culturally based and therefore subject to a person’s individual choice. We can all decide what is right for ourselves. You decide what’s right for you, and I’ll decide what is right for me.” (Moral Relativism) In other words, moral relativism asserts that morality is not based on any absolute standard, divinely instituted or otherwise.

“Moral relativism has steadily been accepted as the primary moral philosophy of modern society, a culture that was previously governed by a “Judeo-Christian” view of morality” (Moral Relativism). But now, rather than stopping to ask “What Would Jesus Do?” choices are made based on what sounds fun or what feels good. Because if there is no God, then there is no “judgment”, and if there is no judgment, then there is no reason to put aside base desires and live a higher law, right?

One example of this relativistic mind-set is found in a story of a young woman committed to sexual abstinence until marriage. Still a virgin at the age of twenty-two, a friend asked her in disbelief how it was possible that she had never “slept with anybody.” “Don’t you want to?” the friend asked. The young woman thought: “The question intrigued me, because it was so utterly beside the point. … Mere wanting is hardly a proper guide for moral conduct” (Hinlicky).

If it were, think what chaos would ensue; crime rates would skyrocket because without personal moral standards to dissuade such behavior, we would have to rely entirely on governments for protection.

Walter Williams, a professor at George Mason University has written that “Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we’ve become.”

Those who oppose moral absolutes typically do so because they believe that such morals are based on religious doctrines which they don’t accept, namely a belief in God. They believe moral relativism to be neutral because it doesn’t impose religious beliefs on others. But regardless of your belief in deity or your accountability to a god for your actions, we are all part of families and communities and societies, and as such, we each have a responsibility to those entities of which we are a part to maintain a level of order. Civilizations and the laws that govern them are built on moral absolutes. “The very act of passing a law and enforcing it suggests that there is a fixed standard that everyone is expected to adhere to.” (Moral Relativism). But “right” and “wrong” exist even when there isn’t a law in place to define and enforce it.

Lawyer and religious leader Todd Christofferson has stated that “There could never be enough rules so finely crafted as to anticipate and cover every situation, and even if there were, enforcement would be impossibly expensive and burdensome. This approach leads to diminished freedom for everyone… In the end, it is only an internal moral compass in each individual that can effectively deal with the root causes as well as the symptoms of societal decay.”

In other words, societies need individuals who believe in moral absolutes, who hold themselves to a certain standard of morality, and expect the same from others in order to function optimally.

Unfortunately, “the societies in which many of us live have for more than a generation failed to foster moral discipline” Christofferson continues, “As a consequence, self-discipline has eroded and societies are left to try to maintain order and civility by compulsion. The lack of internal control by individuals breeds external control by governments.”

Clearly we as a society have more freedom when we individually commit to living by absolute standards of morality. How do we cultivate moral discipline in the world around us? We can begin by practicing personal moral discipline and teaching it in our homes.

“Perhaps our moral discipline, if we will cultivate it, will have an influence for good and inspire others to pursue the same course” (Christofferson). By doing so we may be able to improve our communities and protect the freedoms we enjoy.

 

 

 

The Dangers of Moral Relativism

In Abortion, Abstinence, Bioethics, Birth Rate, Cohabitation, Courts, Democracy, Education, Free Speech, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Media, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, Pornography, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on March 11, 2015 at 7:52 am

right vs. wrongMekelle Tenney

Freedom can only be maintained within a society that also maintains morality. When Alexis De Tocqueville visited America and analyzed her political system he posed the question, “How could society fail to perish if, while the political bond is relaxed, the moral bond were not tightened?” And I believe that the majority of Americans will agree that morality is a necessity in a free society.

However Tocqueville when on to say, “What makes a people master of itself if it has not submitted to God?”[1] And that is where Americans disagree. Morals that are derived from some form of deity are constant and do not adapt. Furthermore they are not subject to different points of view. Currently America is suffering from the effects of a new twist on this principle known as moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that morals are based on a particular standpoint. No specific set of morals are considered the standard, meaning there is no right or wrong it all depends on your point of view.

Moral relativism has resulted in major changes to the political process. First it has removed any mention, consideration, or acknowledgement of God from all political discussion and decisions. The misappropriate application of the 1st amendment has enabled this movement to dispel the existence of God from our nation’s history as well as her present political workings.

Though our political system was never meant to be run by any specific religion or religious institution the acknowledgment of an eternal being who directs the affairs of men has always been a crucial part of our nation. For example, American political thought is deeply rooted in the idea that man has been given rights from God that cannot be taken by any other man. We firmly believe that it is wrong for one man to have dominion over another. That belief is based on a set of morals derived from a belief in a higher being.

Remove God from the picture we now have a moral belief that is founded on nothing. This allows moral relativism to take effect. We begin to question the origin of rights. Rights can no longer be seen as universal. Without universal rights can we really label some forms of government as wrong or evil? The danger of dictators and tyrants is now in question. Are dictatorships wrong? Can they not produce some good? If the definition of good is derived from the standpoint of the dictator then the answer is yes. And those who are living under oppression can define the outcomes of such a government as wrong, but it does not matter because no point of view has precedence over the other. We have now reached the point in this scenario where no one is wrong and no one is right.  So the only option we have to go with is the most popular opinion.

Though this is simply one example each scenario dealing with moral relativism will lead to the same problem. If we cannot derive from God what is right and wrong, where do we turn? One option available is to look at social science and rely on studies to tell us the trends associated with specific behaviors.

How it all plays out

A good example of this is sexual relations among teenagers. Years ago sexual relations before marriage were seen as morally wrong. Physical intimacy was something that was shared solely between a husband and wife. Moral relativism takes over and we see the situation totally different. In the 1960’s we began to remove these “religious principles” from our school curriculum. We would no longer teach our students abstinence.

According the Statistical Abstract of the United States released by the Department of human health the following years showed a 700% increase in teen pregnancies. Though all states vary on their methods of addressing the issue of teaching sex education in our public schools it has become an accepted fact that kids will be experimenting with sex.

We cannot preach morals to them so we must now teach them about safe sex in the hopes that we will reduce teen pregnancies as well teens contracting STDS.

The government has also come up with their own federally funded solution, an organization known as Planned Parenthood. Apart from providing medical procedures Planned Parenthood also provides resource for teens, parents, and educators. The section for teenagers answers questions such as which birth control is best for me?

Is there birth control I can take after unprotected sex?

Will my parents find out if I am on birth control?

How do I know when I am ready to have sex?

I think I am ready to have sex. What do I do now?

How do I prevent myself from getting a STD?

The website also informs girls about the options available to them if they find out they are pregnant. The first solution listed is abortion. Planned Parenthood informs young girls that there is no “right” way to feel about abortion. This is the solution moral relativism has come up with.

In 1983, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals, Ronald Reagan offered a different much more simple solution, “I’ve watched TV panel shows discuss this issue, seen columnists pontificating on our error, but no one seems to mention morality as playing a part in the subject of sex.”[2]

Though it is a simple solution I fear we may never resort to it. What I wonder is how long will any nation will continue to exist with moral relativism as its guiding principle.

[1] De Tocqueville, Alexis. “Indirect Influence That Religious Beliefs Exert on Political Society In the United States.” In Democracy in America, 282. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

[2] Reagan, Ronald. ““Evil Empire” Speech (March 8, 1983).” Http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3409.

Same Sex Attraction

In Abstinence, Education, Families, father, Feminism, Gender, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Non-Discrimination, Parental Rights, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Sexual Orientation, The Family, Values on January 20, 2015 at 8:30 am

same sex attraction 2Nathalie Bowman

Let me be frank. Those of us who don’t experience same-sex attraction don’t understand it. Not only do we not understand it, but many times we judge it and reject it. By judging and rejecting “it”, we judge and reject another human soul who just wants and deserves to be loved. It’s time we understand a little bit about same sex-attraction.

What is same-sex attraction or “SSA”? You may think that’s a funny question. Everyone knows what SSA is. It’s being gay or lesbian: men attracted to men and women attracted to women. But is being gay or lesbian really the same thing as being attracted to someone of the same sex? Not according to Joseph Prever, a Catholic same-sex attracted and celibate man, who says, “….some of us in the Gay Catholic business prefer the phrase “same-sex attraction,” or SSA. I find it more accurate than “gay” or “queer” or any of the others, just because it suggests that homosexuality is something I have rather than something I am. That’s the way I think of it. So the idea of gay culture, gay rights, gay marriage, gay anything really, is foreign to me. You might as well talk about gluten-intolerance culture, or musician’s rights.” (“The Truth About Same Sex Attraction”)

Men (I bring up men because I haven’t seen women writing about this) who are same-sex attracted say there is a difference between gay and SSA. There are many men who have come out of the closet as having same-sex attraction, yet choose not to participate in a sexually active gay relationship. They do not define themselves as gay, nor do they endorse the workings of the LGBT movement.

Another way to look at same-sex attraction

Joshua Johansen, an SSA man who is married to Alyssa, describes it this way:

“In January, our son Isaac entered our family, and Alyssa became conflicted between her desire to work and her desire to be a mom. People often spoke of being “just” a mom, as if being a mom wasn’t as good of a career as a chemical engineer. Too often these comments come from other women. Alyssa has been grateful that the feminist movement has enabled her to go to college and have a successful career. However, she also feels that they have debased the most feminine of roles, being a mom. It frustrates her that just because she is a woman, people assume she supports abortion.

I see many parallels between how my wife views the feminist movement and how I view the gay rights movement. I too am very grateful to the gay rights movement for fighting discrimination. I don’t have to worry about losing my job or getting kicked out of my house just because I have SSA or walk or talk a little effeminately. I am protected. At the same time, I feel the gay rights movement has debased my choice to be a husband and a father and has made it more difficult for me to have and raise my family the way I want to. Worse yet, there are many political issues they assign to me that I strongly disagree with. The gay rights movement no more represents me just because I am gay than the feminist movement represents my wife because she is female.” (“Navigating the Labyrinth Surrounding Homosexual Desire”)

Joshua further explains, “Most people have sexual temptations. To me, sexual orientation is the direction temptations come from. I am not tempted by females. I am tempted by males. Therefore I have SSA. However, desire is different. My desire is to be faithful to my wife and son.”

Choosing a different path

The term “gay” assumes the desire for homosexual relationships, whereas, the vast majority of those with “same-sex attraction” do not desire gay relationships and choose not to have them. Some have found happiness in marriage, and some have chosen celibacy, and they are satisfied with their decisions.

Kudos to Joshua Johansen, Joseph Prever, and others for sharing their stories of this sensitive subject. The more we understand this issue, the more we understand those who are experiencing same-sex attraction.

Check out these recommended articles written by or about men who are experiencing same-sex attraction:

The Truth About Same Sex Attraction” by Joseph Prever (quoted above)

Navigating the Labyrinth Surrounding Homosexual Desire by Joshua Johansen (quoted above) This article is  written by a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), to a specifically LDS audience and has many references to God and religion. However, I recommend it for all readers because it is the most comprehensive explanation of this sensitive subject that I have read. Plus-it’s entertaining!

Attracted to Men, Pastor Feels Called to Marriage with Woman

 

 

The Lowdown on “Shacking Up:” Ten Points to Consider Before You Move in with Your Significant Other

In Abstinence, Cohabitation, Courts, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Education, Families, Government, Marriage, Media, Polls, Research, Sexual Freedom, The Family, Values on January 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

cohabitation 2Elise Ellsworth

“Should we move in together?” Many couples living together today never paused to consider this question. Living together relationships are becoming increasingly popular, especially among twenty-somethings. There are some very common sense reasons for this type of living arrangement: Lots of people do it now. How can living together be very bad if 4.2 million U.S. adults engage in the practice? You learn if you work well as a couple before making a major marriage commitment. A recent article from a modern relationships website pointed out that “couples who live together learn about each other and start to form an identity working as a team.” They can learn (or not) how to balance their relationship, careers, and even finances together. It makes more financial sense. The current U.S. tax system penalizes low-income married individuals with children. It’s easier this way. If you decide to go your separate ways there’s no messy divorce, no courtroom and legal drama.

But here are some well-researched facts to consider about cohabitation. If you decide to cohabit you are:

  1. More likely to divorce if you marry – That’s right – seems counterintuitive – but the statistics show that couples who live together before marriage are actually more likely to divorce. You are also less likely to be satisfied with your marriage. There has been one widely publicized study which claimed to have debunked the divorce data but its results are controversial as they apply to a narrow group of couples who – among other characteristics – only ever cohabited with persons they married and who were engaged when they began cohabitation.
  2. Quite likely to break up before you marry – About 45% of cohabitation relationships break up before marriage. A CDC study showed that after 10 years 62% of cohabiting couples as compared to 33% of married couples will have called it quits.
  3. Less Happy (on Average) – That’s right – married couples are generally happier than couples who live together.
  4. More Likely to Experience Depression – Research has shown that individuals in a living together arrangement are much more likely to experience depression.
  5. Have a Greater Chance that Your Partner Will Cheat on You – A study by Judith Treas and Deirdre Giesen showed that cohabiting couples are twice as likely to experience infidelity within the relationship as married couples.
  6. Not necessarily better off financially - The article “Why Marriage Makes Financial Sense” points out that the high costs of separate insurance plans, loans and even middle class taxes can more than negate the effects of the marriage tax penalty which applies only to low income individuals.
  7. Less Healthy and Less Productive than Your Married Friends – Yes, that’s right. Married couples live longer, are more physically and mentally healthy, and are more productive than their cohabiting counterparts.
  8. More Likely to Experience Domestic Violence and Abuse (if female) – For females, cohabiting is a dangerous arrangement with a study by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite showing that 16% of women reported that arguments became physical in cohabitation relationships as compared to 5% of married women.
  9. Less Likely to Have a Satisfying Sexual Relationship – The same study done by Linda showed that married couples have more satisfying sex lives than those of their cohabiting counterparts.
  10. In a relationship that is harmful to children – Children in these unions suffer terrible consequences. A recent federal study of child abuse and neglect showed that children living with a parent cohabiting with an unmarried partner are more than 10 times as likely to be abused and five times more likely to be neglected than children living with married parents. The same study showed that children who live with their own parents who are unmarried but cohabiting are five times as likely to be abused and six times as likely to be neglected as children living with married biological parents.

If couples think that cohabitation comes without consequences they are misled. The ease of entering into a living together arrangement belies its serious consequences.

What all Girls Should Know before Having Sex

In Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Education, Health Care, Marriage, Research, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, Values on December 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

Miriam GrossmanRachel Allison

Dr. Miriam Grossman, M.D. worked at a campus counseling center for more than 10 years.  The young women who came to her were in crisis. They were “working hard to fulfill their dreams:  a college education, maybe grad school, a great career, and—at some point—a home, husband, and kids.”  But they come to her office in tears because of struggles and setbacks caused by decisions and regrets. “She’s already involved with the wrong guy, or infected with genital warts or herpes.  She’s already lost a great relationship, missed an opportunity, or failed a midterm.  I’m her doctor, but all I can do is sit there, listen, and hand her tissues.”

Dr. Grossman’s book “Unprotected” should be a must read for every teenager in the United States, Canada, England, France…ok, the world. But until parents and youth leaders can get them their must read copy, here are a few things Dr. Grossman has prepared for young women to read before the regrets begin …information young girls should know before sexual intimacy.

  1. Intimacy promotes attachment and trust.

Intimate behavior floods your brain with a chemical that fuels attachment. Cuddling, kissing, and sexual contact release oxytocin, a hormone that announces: “I’m with someone special now. Time to switch love on, and caution off.  When oxytocin levels are high, you’re more likely to overlook your partner’s faults and take risks you otherwise wouldn’t…

When it comes to sex, oxytocin, like alcohol, turns red lights green.  It plays a major role in what’s called “the biochemistry of attachment.”  Because of it, you could develop feelings for a guy whose last intention is to bond with you. You might think of him all day, but he can’t remember your name.

  1. Science confirms:  alcohol makes him hot…when he’s not.

Science has confirmed the existence of “beer goggles”—when a person seems more attractive to you after you’ve had a few drinks….Drinking affects the nucleus accumbens, the area of the brain used to determine facial attractiveness.  It’s probably one of several reasons that casual, high-risk sex is often preceded by alcohol consumption.

  1. A hook-up usually leads to regret.

A recent study of  the hook-up culture at Princeton University reveals:  Before the hook-up, girls expect emotional involvement almost twice as often as guys; 34% hope “a relationship might evolve.”  Guys, more than girls, are in part motivated by hopes of improving their social reputation, or of bragging about their exploits to friends the next day.

After the hook-up: 91% of girls admit to having feelings of regret, at least occasionally.  Guilt and ‘feeling used’ are commonly cited, and overall, 80% of girls wish the hook-up hadn’t happened. Other studies have shown: 84% of women said that after having sex a few times, …they begin to feel vulnerable and would at least like to know if the other person cares about them.

As the number of casual sex partners increased, so did signs of depression in college women.  49% of students whose hook-up included intercourse never see one another again, and less than 10% of “friends with benefits” develop into romances.

  1. A younger cervix is more vulnerable to infection.

Your cervix, the entrance to your uterus, has a vulnerable area one cell thick, called the transformation zone. It’s easy for HPV (the human papillomavirus, which can cause genital warts, and even cervical cancer) to settle there. That’s why most teen girls are infected from one of their first sexual partners.  By adulthood the transformation zone is replaced with a thicker, tougher surface.  So it’s wise to delay sexual activity, or, if you’ve already started, to stop.

Even though these infections are common, and usually disappear with time, learning you have one can be devastating. Natural reactions are shock, anger, and confusion. “Who did I get this from, and when? Was he unfaithful? Who should I tell?” and hardest of all: “Who will want me now?”

These concerns can affect your mood, concentration, and sleep.  They can deal a serious blow to your self-esteem…and to your GPA.

The HPV vaccine is a major achievement, but the protection it provides is limited.  You are still vulnerable to other infections like herpes, Chlamydia, HIV, and non-covered strains of HPV.  And of course no vaccine prevents a broken heart.

  1. He may not know he has HPV or herpes.

Most guys who have a sexually transmitted infection don’t know it….it’s easiest to transmit herpes or HPV when warts or sores are present, but it can also happen at other times, when everything looks OK. Condoms only reduce the risk by 60-70%.

  1. The rectum is an exit, not an entrance.

And about those other sexual activities…

Having more than five oral-sex partners has been associated with throat cancer. Turns out that HPV can cause malignant tumors in the throat, just like it does in the cervix.

In a study of sexually active college men, HPV was found both where you’d expect—the genital area—and where you wouldn’t: under fingernails.  Yes, you read that right.  Researchers now speculate whether the virus can be shared during activities considered “safe,” like mutual masturbation.

According to the Centers for disease Control, approximately 30% of all women will have had anal intercourse by the age of 24.  Even with condoms, this behavior places them at increased risk of infection with HIV and other STDs.  For example, the risk of HIV transmission during anal intercourse is at least 20 times higher than with vaginal intercourse.

The government website, www.fda.gov, provides no-nonsense advise about avoiding HIV:  “Condoms provide some protection, but anal intercourse is simply too dangerous to practice.”

The rectum is an exit, not an entrance.  Anal penetration is hazardous.  Don’t do it.

“Young women are bombarded with the message: “Exploring and experimenting—as long as you’re “protected”—can be safe, satisfying, and beneficial.”

“Don’t fall for it.  It’s easy to forget, but the characters on Grey’s Anatomy and Sex in the City are not real.  In real life, Meredith and Carrie would have warts or herpes.  They’d likely be on Prozac or Zoloft.  Today a woman cannot have so many partners with paying a price….We’re fighting a horde of bugs, and the bugs are winning.  It’s no longer enough to communicate with your “partners,” get tested, and use condoms.”

“Any genital contact with another person is a serious matter. A single encounter can have life-long consequences, especially for a woman. That’s not sexist, that’s biology—your biology. Ignorance or denial of this fact will only increase your vulnerability.”

“You’re in control, it’s all in your hands.  The distress that often follows casual sex is 100% preventable.  Life may throw you some curve balls, but STDs, and encounters you’d rather forget, are burdens that you can avoid.”

“Listen to the lesson of hard science:  It’s wise to be very, very careful about who you allow to get intimately close to you.”

Dr. Grossman concludes:  “I believe in you.  And I don’t want to see you in my office.  Now go pursue your dreams.”

This information was taken from the booklet, Sense & Sexuality, prepared by Dr. Miriam Grossman for college coeds.

 

Consciences are Important

In Abortion, Abstinence, Child Development, Cohabitation, Courts, Diane Robertson, Domestic Violence, Drug Use, Education, Feminism, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Health Care, Homosexuality, Human Rights, Marriage, Media, Parenting, Pornography, Religious Freedom, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sexual Freedom, Values, Violence on December 3, 2014 at 8:07 am

conscienceDiane Robertson

In the fourth grade while a couple of boys sat crying outside the classroom, my teacher sat the rest of the class down and explained that these boys were crying because their conscience hurt. They had been involved in a fist fight during recess. She explained that a conscience is an inner voice that tells us right from wrong. These boys had done wrong and felt bad. She told us that when we do good things, we feel good, and when we do bad things, we feel bad. She counseled our class to give heed to that inner voice. If we did, she taught, we would never stray very far from living a good life.

This sort of lesson was not uncommon thirty years ago. Most people understood the importance of a conscience. Most people heeded their own conscience.

Thirty years is a lot of time for things to change. And change they have. Instead of a genuine understanding of conscience, the very idea that there is good and bad has diminished. Along with the diminishing idea that some things are good and some things are bad has come the idea that conscience doesn’t matter. Since, a lot people feel like consciences do not matter, the right to have a conscience is diminishing too.

In fact, the right to have and act upon one’s conscience has been in the courts a lot in the last decade. Some of these include:

  • Nurses who did not want to participate in abortions.
  • Wedding vendors who do not want to participate in gay marriages.
  • Religious leaders who feel obligated to preach the biblical views of homosexuality.
  • Students who do not want to participate in the liberal agendas taught at their Universities.
  • Business owners who do not want to be involved in supplying abortifacient drugs.

And more… Some of these people have won their court cases and regained their right to conscience, some have lost, and some cases are still pending. These attacks on conscience will likely increase. Those who still believe that there is such a thing as bad and good and right and wrong need to stand up and defend the right to conscience whenever and wherever it is breached. My fourth grade teacher was right. That inner voice does tell us right from wrong and a good government will be sure to have laws that allow everyone to listen to and heed their own consciences.

 

 

Ways to Save the World and Reduce the Population

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Child Development, Demographic Decline, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Families, Government, Human Rights, Parental Rights, Parenting, Population Control, Prostitution, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sex Education, Sexual Freedom, The Family, UN, Values on November 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

UNDiane Robertson

If I had a conversation like, “Do you want to know what the UN is doing now?” And then actually repeated some of the information in the UNFPA’s State of World Population report on youth , no one would believe me. They would think I was an extremist, a radical, and a fear-monger. I’d be tempted to think that of myself, because really, who would guess that comprehensive sexual education, lowering the age of consent, ending all restrictions on abortion, legalizing drugs and prostitution, and reducing parental involvement would solve the world’s “over population” problems.

I can just imagine the delegates brainstorming what needs to done. One delegate raises his hand and boldly declares, “If we legalized drugs then driving under the influence would surely increase, and more people would die young! That would reduce the population.”

Feeling excited at that idea, another delegate chimes in, “If we lower the age of consent, oh and teach children as much about sexual activity as possible from pre-school onward, we are sure to increase STDs. Even more people will die young!”

Then of course there are nods of approval when along the same lines another delegate puts forth the idea that legalizing prostitution would spread STDs even faster.

One more thoughtful delegate would then say, “We need to be sure that parents aren’t involved in the sexual development and decision making of their children because they really don’t do a good job at that.”

Finally someone else raises her hand and says, “We need to get rid of all restriction on abortion. Sex can cause pregnancy, and pregnancy can cause population growth. Add abortion on demand to the document too.” But here I digress. Abortion is proven to lower the population. Since 1973, 53 million babies in the United States alone, were never given the chance at life. And voila, the national birthrate decreased.

So that’s it. The UNFPA wants to give our kids the façade of safety by telling them to act on their every sexual urge and do all the drugs they want while giving them condoms and telling them to wear their seatbelts. Thanks UN. I’m so glad you are trying to find ways to save the world and reduce the population.

*And just in case you are thinking I am an extremist, radical, or fear-monger, or really don’t like satire, here is a really great article that carefully explains the details found in the State of World Population report on youth.

Only Men Can Father

In Abstinence, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Education, Families, father, Gender, Marriage, motherhood, Parental Rights, Parenting, Research, Sanctity of Life, Schools, Sexual Freedom, Single Mothers, The Family, Values, Violence on November 12, 2014 at 7:59 am

father throwing daughterDiane Robertson

New Research being conducted on the differences between mothering and fathering has found that children need to the complimentary parenting styles from both genders.

Jenet Erickson, research sociologist and author for the Deseret News, presented research that is being conducted, and not yet published, during the Wheatley Conference. She has given me permission to summarize this research in progress.

Last week, I discussed some scientific reasons why only women can mother. This week, I will discuss why only men can father.

Although mothers and fathers both experience an increase in Oxytocin levels as they become parents, these hormones exhibit important differences behaviorally in mothers and fathers. Each study finds that men parent similarly to each other and likewise women parent similarly, making women mothers and men fathers. The compatibility of the two sexes in parenting contributes to the complete and normal development of children. When one parent is missing, children suffer.

Even with the emergence of stay at home fathers, mothers engage with, care for, and provide routine care for their children 3 to 4 times more than fathers. Yet the father’s influence and different ways in which he is involves himself with his children is very meaningful.

A father in the home improves the emotional, social, economic, and sexual outcomes of children.

The unique way in which fathers play with and hold their infants and children affects their children’s behavior and ability to form relationships throughout their lives. Jenet Erickson explains:

Mothers tend to exhibit unique capacities for emotional attentiveness and responsiveness, which facilitates the security necessary for the formation of healthy identity in children. Fathers’ involvement and closeness also appears to be related to almost every aspect of children’s social-emotional health, but fathers seem to distinctly influence children’s capacity for prosocial behaviors and healthy relationships. Play is a critical way through which children receive these important contributions from fathers. Consistent with the way mothers and fathers tend to hold their infants (cuddling vs. football hold), mothers seem to make distinct, even critical contributions to children’s identity formation, while fathers make distinct contributions to children’s capacity for healthy relationships with others.”

The way in which fathers interact with their children correlates well with the educational outcome of children. Children who have an involved father, do better in school and are much more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and graduate from college. In fact, a father’s interaction with his children has a more profound effect on education than mother’s interaction with her children.

There seems to be three main reasons this is the case.

  1. Father’s physical play stimulates and activates children. This unique ‘destabilizing’ orientation corresponds with typical approaches in other father-child interactions that may play an important role in ‘stimulating children’s openness to the world’ by exciting, surprising, and destabilizing them (Palkovitz, 2012, p. 226). These unique characteristics have led researchers to describe a father’s relationship with his children as an ‘activation relationship’ primarily developed through play (Paquette, 2004).”
  2. Father’s interaction with children helps the children to develop independence. According to Jenet Erickson, “Daniel Paquette found from his research that fathers ‘tend to encourage children to take risks, while at the same time ensuring safety and security, thus permitting children to learn to be braver in unfamiliar situations, as well as to stand up for themselves.’” Fathers also tend to insist that children do things for themselves, while mothers will step in to help and explain.
  3. Fathers are more “cognitively demanding”. While helping with homework, for example, fathers will stand back and offer verbal cues without intervening, and mothers will actively help their children solve a problem and complete their tasks.

 

Fathers are an important part of sexual and gender development for both boys and girls. Maggie Gallagher summarized this well. She has said that:

What a boy gets from experiencing the dependable love of a father is a deep personal experience of masculinity that is pro-social, pro-woman, pro-child…Without this personal experience of maleness, a boy (who like all human beings is deeply driven to seek some meaning for masculinity) is vulnerable to a variety of peer and market-driven alternative definitions of masculinity, often grounded in…aggression, physical strength, and sexual proclivities…

She continued, “The importance of a father in giving a boy a deeply pro-social sense of his own masculinity may be one reason why one large national study found that boys raised outside of intact marriages were two to three times more likely to commit a crime leading to imprisonment. Similarly a girl raised without a father does not come to adolescence with the same deep experience of what male love feels like when it is truly protective, not driven primarily by a desire for sexual gratification. At the same time, fatherless girls may experience a hunger for masculine love and attention that leaves her particularly vulnerable to use and abuse by young adult males. Girls raised without fathers are at high risk for unwed motherhood.”

Boys without a father in the home are more aggressive and are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior. Girls without a father participate in early sexual activity. Fatherlessness is the number one indicator for teenage pregnancy.

Closeness to both a mother and a father provides the best outcome for children in all areas of their lives. Mothers do not provide what fathers do and fathers do not provide what mothers do. The physiology of the separate genders primes each for complimentary roles as mother and father. The unique ways in which men and women rear their children provide them with an essential balance they need to develop emotionally, socially, educationally, and sexually.

Jenet Erickson concludes:

This review provides social science underpinnings for the intuitive sense and experience of those fathers. It is clear that there is much overlap in the capacities, skills and behaviors of mothers and fathers that enable children to develop and even thrive. But as this review demonstrates, mothers and fathers retain distinctive capacities, styles, and orientations that emerge as important, if not critical, contributors in children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and sexual development, as well as their safety and protection.”

 

References

Hart, C. H., Nelson,D. A., Robinson, C. C., Olsen S.F., McNeilly-Choque, M. K. (1998).Overt and relational aggression in Russian nursery-school-age children: Parenting style and marital linkages. Developmental Psychology, 34(4), 687-97.

Koestner, R., Franz, C., and Weinberger, J. (1990). The family origins of empathic concern: A 26-year longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 709-717.

Parke, R. D. (2012). Gender differences and similarities in parental behavior. In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 120-163). New York: Columbia University Press.

Palkovitz, R. (2012). Gendered parenting’s implications for children’s well-being: Theory and research in applied perspective. . In W. B. Wilcox, & K. K. Kline (Eds.), Gender and Parenthood (pp. 215-248). New York: Columbia University Press.

Paquette, D. (2004). Theorizing the father-child relationship: Mechanisms and developmental outcomes. Human Development, 47, 193-219.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something Wicked this Way Comes…

In Abstinence, Child Development, Education, Homosexuality, Parenting, Schools, Sex Education on November 7, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Contemporary sex education prepares young men and women not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.

Something WickedA 1962 fantasy novel, later made into a Disney movie, borrowed its title from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:  “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”  It was the story of a traveling carnival who arrived at idyllic, unsuspecting “Green Town,” offering promises of restored youth and dreams. But it wasn’t too long before the citizens of Green Town tragically learned that “for every wish there will be a price, and for every desire there will be a cost”– a cost that almost destroyed their community.

If truth is stranger than fiction, some parents in Las Vegas, Nevada might relate with the idea of “something wicked” coming into town. However, unlike the residents of fictional Green Town who weakly submitted, when Las Vegas residents saw a threat to their children, hundreds of them courageously stood up in opposition.

In September, the Clark County School District considered replacing their existing abstinence-based sex education with a comprehensive sex education curriculum based upon the SIECUS “Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education” for kindergarten through 12th Grade. The proposed guidelines were so offensive that a high school student told the school board, “I think I went through about 20 pages and I couldn’t continue with it because some of the stuff was just too disturbing to me at [my] age, and I’m 17-years-old.”

Clark County, school board mtg.Concerned parents filled every seat in the School Board Meetings and spilled out into the halls, waiting for an opportunity to speak.  One parent said, “Words can not even begin to describe my shock when I read what is being suggested to be taught to my daughter at age 5.”  Another parent said, “I was sick to my stomach. My wife and I read it. We’re sick to think elementary age kids would be exposed to these types of things.”

After much public outcry, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky wrote a public letter of apology, “asking our community to forgive how we handled this situation.”  But the situation is not over yet.  A comprehensive sex-ed bill that died in the 2013 Nevada legislative session is coming back in 2015AB230 would change Nevada’s current “opt-in” policy to “opt-out,” and allow Planned Parenthood to teach comprehensive sex education in the schools.

This statewide option supported by Planned Parenthood would do essentially the same thing as the previous SIECUS proposal, only on a larger scale.  As one parent told the school board, “SIECUS is supported by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood openly supported AB230. It is the same. It is a shift to teach sexuality education.”

In response to these worrisome proposals, over 600 Las Vegas parents have recently formed Power2Parent to help parents get informed and get involved.  We applaud their efforts!

Gilbert Public SchoolsParental involvement can make a huge difference.  Because of parental involvement, the Gilbert [Arizona] Public Schools board is now removing a page from a biology textbook that instructs students how to have an abortion. The textbook states, “If a pregnancy has already occurred, the drug mifepristone can induce an abortion during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.”  The decision to edit the text has attracted national attention, and all of this came about after one “parent had raised concerns that the textbook being used the text was not compliant with state legislation.”

What is wrong with comprehensive sex education?  

In addition to the risk of exposing young children to explicit sexual concepts, it simply does not work.  For example, an American CDC study revealed that contraception education and availability was not effective in preventing many teen pregnancies. In fact, almost half of the teens who gave birth were using contraceptives when they conceived.

England has experienced similar results. Dr. Monique Chireau of Duke University reports,  “Despite 10 years of intensive efforts using typical prevention strategies including expanding sex education, increasing availability of contraception, increasing access to abortion (without parental consent) the teen birth rate continued to rise at 4% per year, and 50% of teenage pregnancies in Britain end in abortion.”

In short, there is no such thing as “safe sex” for unmarried teens.

Child and matchesWe expect our schools to teach the best practice in every other subject. Abstinence education–or “sexual risk avoidance education”– is the best practice in this subject.  We don’t teach kindergarteners how to play with fire safely, we teach them fire-playing abstinence. We don’t teach teens how to drink or do drugs safely, we teach them drug and alcohol abstinence. We teach abstinence from virtually every behavior that hurts individuals and society. Is there anything more potentially harmful than the life-long consequences of early sexual activity?

Comprehensive sex education undermines happy marriages.

Cassandra Hough, Princeton graduate and a founder of the Love and Fidelity Network, recently wrote an excellent article arguing that comprehensive sex-ed programs “undermine happy marriages.”  She explains how they prepare young people “not for the not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.”

“These programs assume young men and women cannot and will not abstain from sex before marriage, and therefore emphasize ways to reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

“Comprehensive sex education. . . may purport to aim at sexual risk reduction, but it effectively instructs young men and women in sexual risk-taking. It sets up abstinence as an unrealistic ideal and. . . encourages condom use as a means of reducing risk while simultaneously normalizing behaviors that make the incidence of sex more frequent and that create environments of increased vulnerability. In reducing sexual safety and responsibility to the use of a condom and the acquisition of consent, comprehensive sex education sends the inaccurate and dangerous message that these two precautions allow one to have lots of sex without consequences.

“As if this weren’t bad enough, comprehensive sex education programs. . . regularly disconnect sex from the context of a committed, loving, exclusive relationship (i.e. marriage). This saturates the young imagination and whets the appetite not for a relationship but for sex itself, disconnected from any person or commitment of love. Contemporary sex education prepares young men and women not for the fullness of friendship, intimacy and love, but for casual relationships and recreational sex.”  (Click here to read more)

Conclusion:

As in “Something Wicked This Way Comes,”  the traveling carnival of comprehensive sex education requires adults to stand against its many false promises. In the story, it was the weakness of the parents that placed their children in danger.

One reader of the novel noted that the “adults were weak with temptation and worn down by regrets. If The Shining terrified me with the possibility that my own father might try to kill me, Something Wicked posited something much more frightening and much more likely– that he wouldn’t be able to save me if someone else did.”

Parents, please be on guard and ready to protect your children’s innocence when “something wicked” your way comes.

Laura BunkerFaithfully for Families,

Laura Bunker, President
United Families International

 

Here’s What You Can Do

Sex ed in schools1.  Begin today by reviewing the content of the textbooks used by your children.  You can shortcut the process by going directly to the Index of most texts and looking under the listings of: “Homosexuality,” “Sexuality,”  “Family Life,”  “Religion,” etc.

2.    Send United Families International (ufi@unitedfamilies.org)  the name of text, publishers, and a scanned pdf file of the pages or send the exact quotes with source.  UFI will then post the submissions on our website along with a data base listing “Acceptable” and “Unacceptable” text books.

3.    Contact other like-minded individuals and alert them to the problem. Together, go to your district and ask to see copies of the textbooks that are being used in all courses. Begin a systematic review of all textbooks.

4.    Go directly to your school board members and request a meeting to explain the unacceptable nature of text books being used. Ask the Board Members what their plan of action is to correct the problem.

5.    Research your state’s statues and laws that preclude this type of material from being taught in the school.  Chances are that there are laws that will be on your side and will support your parental rights in this area.

6.    Be pro-active. Inform the district that you would like to be part of a parent curriculum review board that will preview all books before they are purchased by the district. As a parent, it is your right to be involved in these decisions!

7.    Keep United Families informed of your efforts so we can share your success with others.

Public schools belong to you.  Together we can protect our most precious resource–our children.

Take Out the Textbook Trash!

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